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Durham University

Research & business

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Miss Emma Doherty

Research Postgraduate in the Department of Psychology

(email at


I am currently investigating the impact of socioecological environment on the ontogenetic trajectory of multimodal signal production in our closest living relatives, the chimpanzees and bonobos. By uncovering developmental patterns, I aim to highlight cognitive mechanisms underlying the learning processes of multimodal signal production and thus broaden our understanding of the selective pressures which may have driven the elaboration of the multimodal signalling within human language.

Previous to coming to Durham I completed a MSc in Biological Anthropology at the Australian National University, Canberra in 2018 and a BSc in Zoology at Queens University, Belfast in 2015, working with primates in Indonesia, Kenya and Malaysia inbetween.

Research Interests

  • Evolution and development of language
  • Primate behaviour
  • Primate communication

Media Contacts

Available for media contact about:

  • Anthropology: Primate communication
  • Anthropology: Primate behaviour
  • Environment: Primate conservation

Is supervised by

Selected Grants

  • 2019: Durham Doctoral Studentship £35,404
  • 2016: Leverhulme Trust Study Abroad Studentship £57,700
  • 2015: Nacey Maggioncalda Foundation small grant $1000